AnXiety Marks The Spot
Over the years, my mother would tell me this story about when Mary Lost Her Merry. Forget the lamb, losing Merry was far more significant. The story goes that my mother observed that my birth to three year old self (it was somewhere between two and three – I just like imagining that I was “Mary” a bit longer) what my mother describes as a whimsical, carefree, merry little child with a bubbly laugh disappeared and was replace by this quiet, nervous, dare I say it, anxious child. Susan Cain’s book Quiet has some powerful insights on this phenomenon.
As I grew-up, I would say that it wasn’t until the 7th or 8th grade before I seemingly “found my Mary.” The truth was, I found an acceptable adaptation of her, a person that appeared calm, cool and collected aka (medium and in-charge) on the outside while subsequently living with incredible anxiety and fear on the inside. I wore it well until the age of 39 when LIFE as I had come to know it fell apart from the inside out and for five years I was sick and tired – literally. It all started with some numbness in my right leg which in looking back became the catalyst for looking at the numbness in so many other parts of my life.
This marked five long years of being stuck in the belief that there was SOMETHING wrong with my physical body. The evidence was so clear that my body was falling apart and I had enough symptoms to float a boat – and no diagnosis. Fast-forward to 2005 and the last trip to the hospital, the final neurologist of the FIVE I had consulted over as many years. This kind, compassionate and wise doctor-man said this of my own personal ODD-YSSEY (emphasis on the ODD), “you are such a rare case, Mary. Many others that I have seen with your story either oftentimes end up with un-necessary surgeries on the back, lumbar and neck in an futile attempt to “fix” something or on numerous medications for anxiety, depression, pain, and a host of other reasons. You are unusual in that over these five years, you have managed to navigate this illness and stay centered.”
Indeed, that had been the case. I still to this day can’t tell you why I hadn’t gone down the surgery or medication route, I just feel grateful and blessed that I didn’t. That kind neurologist also said, “there is a name for this, for what is happening to your body, that Western medicine can’t identify – yet. I recommend you seek out the support of a compassionate therapist to help you navigate and make sense of the symptoms and give you some additional tools to handle this.” Indeed, it was time to dig. Because, you see, X had been marking the spot for years and I just hadn’t seen it that way. As many of you know, I did go on to see that compassionate therapist, in the person of Catherine Crawford, who is an intuitive, wise counselor who uses equal measures of art, creativity, intuition and kindness to gently unearth the treasure that is buried deep inside us. I started seeing Catherine in the fall of 2005. Ah, the fall. And it was six months, almost to the day, that I experienced my spring awakening. Yes, March of 2006, after a myriad of deep digging exercises, exploration and navigating my inner landscapes, the sleeping giant – the indomitable spirit awoke…and with it – ME. Someday I will share with you, on one of the new Fresh Intuition Fridays, what I call The Anatomy of a Spiritual Awakening. Because, let’s not kid ourselves, there is a whole lotta physical mixed in with the spiritual and there are many people in the world going through this same re-connection. I meet them everyday in my work.
My work. Yes. The gift of awakening. The X marks the spot has now become my work. Literally, my LIFE IS MY BUSINESS and I am profoundly aware now of the treasure that awaits exactly where we stumble. And I want you to know it too. I want you to acknowledge all the places and times where anxiety and fear have stopped you in your tracks.
Pause a moment and look down. We have a tendency to think look down at this external spot where change resides – a change we seemingly can’t reach. Notice “all the downs” between your eyes and feet where X may mark the spot.
Look down to your throat – in your ability to communicate with truth and clarity. Look at your chest – where your big, beautiful vulnerable heart resides. Is the treasure buried there? Look down at your gut (I know it’s getting bigger) – it’s because there is treasure stored in there – creativity, empowerment, self-esteem and self-worth. Get out your shovel and start digging. And just like that wise, compassionate, doctor-man suggested to me, hire a guide, find a compassionate witness and invest in new tools to dig underneath the anxiety and fear to get your spirit back.
Because, another name for that spirit, for that deep connection to self is intuition. Yes, in looking back at that story my mother told about losing my Mary, she was right. My own clarity, my own connection to intuition and spirit began to fade at that young age as I began to absorb the feelings, the pain and concerns of the world which transformed into anxiety. Over the years, my own intuition was replaced in equal measures with anxiety as a regular part of my daily diet. And it impacted my choices, my freedom, my ability to feel, to risk, to… as Brene Brown says …to dare greatly.
Well, I am hear to say…and here to say, that anxiety indeed marked the spot and though it was a long and challenging journey, the treasure that is my life and the access to wisdom and grace through the re-connection with the intuitive way has restored my health, my balance and my life’s purpose.
Is anXiety marking the spot in your life? Start X.